Breaking her silence

Doctor says hospital forced her to keep quiet on abortion

Dr. Diane J. Horvath-Cosper, an obstetrician and gynecologist who performs abortions at a Washington hospital. (Gabriella Demczuk/The New York Times)

It’s not common knowledge that many hospitals perform abortions, and in Washington D.C. the region’s largest private hospital was determined to keep it that way. A legal complaint filed this week on behalf of Diane J. Horvath-Cosper, an OB/GYN at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, alleged she was asked by her superiors to tone down her advocacy for abortion rights and to decline interview requests on the subject. According to the National Women’s Law Center, the hospital’s actions amount to discrimination under the Church Act, a law that protects medical personnel at publicly funded facilities from being forced to violate their beliefs on abortion.

Horvath-Cosper said the request came shortly after the December shooting in Colorado Springs outside a Planned Parenthood clinic, but that it didn’t justify limiting her free speech. “I don’t think we’re going to move forward as a community and a country on the issue of abortion unless we talk about it openly,” said Horvath-Cosper. One doctor familiar with the OB/GYN practice at Medstar said the hospital conceals the fact that it offers abortion services as a means of preventing the physicians who perform the procedure from being targeted. “You cannot underestimate their fear of personal targetting,” added the doctor, who did not want to be identified due to the sensitivity of the subject.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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